The rally, Mr. Trump’s first since the end of April, served as a venting session for a pent-up president who has stewed and brooded from inside the gilded cage of the White House over attacks from investigators, Democrats and the news media, his interview schedule drastically pared down and his aides imploring him to stay off Twitter.
Style-heavy and substance-light, the speech went over an hour: an epic version of the fact-challenged, meandering and, even for his detractors, mesmerizing speeches he gave during his upstart presidential campaign.
Mr. Trump gave few details about his plan for the solar panels, beyond that it creates “energy and pays for itself,” or about his coming proposal to greatly curtail welfare for new immigrants — including how it would differ from existing laws that do just that. He called it a “total rewrite of our immigration system into a merit-based system,” words consistent with the public tone he has struck on immigration restrictions.
The president, whose approval rating is mired below 40 percent, told the crowd of roughly 6,000 people at the U.S. Cellular Center that he was thrilled to be out of the “Washington swamp.”
He barely reacted to whistle-blowing protesters who interrupted him within the first five minutes of the speech, when he was honoring Representative Steve Scalise, the Republican House whip, who was shot during a baseball practice last week and now faces a long rehabilitation. “Never fails,” Mr. Trump said as the protesters were led out.
Free from his handlers for roughly 70 minutes, Mr. Trump described his administration as he wished it to be: one in which he had made historic governing accomplishments and been stymied solely by the “resistance.”
“I think health care is going to happen, and infrastructure is going to happen, and I look forward to being able to produce it,” he said.
He derided trade deals despite an Iowa economy that relies in part…